“It’s beautiful.”

“For all the wrong reasons”, I responded as I lit my cigarette and flicked the still burning match over the edge of the moving train.

“It’s still beautiful”, said James defensively. “Why do you gotta shit on everything I say?”

“Because my friends, family, and everyone that I ever loved is dead.”

James shut up after that. He had a point though. Seeing a city skyline set ablaze from the top of a moving train at sunset had its qualities. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen, actually: deep reds clashing and mashing with bright oranges, embers dancing their way in unison skyward, the sun’s final gasps of light silhouetting the ruined cityscape. It was beautiful. I was sorry for shitting on James’ words.

“Where’s this train headed, anyways?” I said, trying to break the silence.

“Away from this hell”, he replied.

“—and into another.”

Sorry, James.

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